The Intoximeter EC/IR II (“Intox”) is a legally “approved instrument” for measuring a person’s blood alcohol level at the police office; it is not a roadside alcohol screening device.
The Intox is the latest generation of breathalyzer and is based on the same fuel cell technology [hyperlink] as used in handheld screening devices. But it has increased reliability over the handheld devices; additional components and software are able to detect mouth alcohol or other interfering substances and then stop the test sequence. This prevents the instrument from giving a false test result.
The Intox performs a blank test and an alcohol standard test with every breath test, and all these results are printed on a permanent paper test report. This instrument is highly automated to prevent operator errors, and will permanently record all status messages.
Intox breath tests are performed following the Canadian Society of Forensic Science Alcohol Test Committee recommendations [hyperlink] for evidentiary breath tests. The most important of these recommendations require:
– the taking of two breath tests with a 20 mg% agreement of each other,
– performing alcohol standard tests at the same time as the breath tests,
– and, adhering to a 15 minute pre-test observation period.[hyperlink] To be certified to operate this instrument, a police officer must successfully complete a five day training course, and then must successfully complete an annual proficiency test to maintain certification. Operators are designated a Qualified Technician in the province in which they operate the Intox EC/IR II.